Posts in category "Arts and Culture"

Greek “monsters” reimagined in international touring exhibit

Greek monsters are big in our house. And, I blame Percy Jackson. Ever since my nine-year-old son opened to the first page of “The Lightning Thief” by Rick Riordan. Many a dinner conversation has centered on the Minotaur, Cyclops, Medusa, and Cerberus – and so many other Greek monsters. With each chapter came new adventures for the young heroes... Read more »

Chicago artist Jim Bachor turns street potholes into works of mosaic art

We’re in the middle of winter here in Chicago, and with the snow, cold and slush comes the inevitable potholes. Yes, everyone who survived last year’s polar vortex knows that once the snow, cold and slush are gone, we’re left with potholes. And, lots of them. In fact, last year, at the end of January,... Read more »

The legend of the Golem of Prague – and its appearance in children's and modern literature

I love when my six-year-old gets to go to the library at his school – simply because I never know what books he’ll check out that day. I always excitedly open his backpack to see what French and/or English books are tucked away inside of it. And, I’m never disappointed. A few months ago, he brought home... Read more »
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“You Are Beautiful:” How three simple words on a sticker help brighten the days of people around the world

If you live in Chicago, chances are you may have seen a small, shiny, rectangular, silver sticker on a light post, a stair railing, a trash can, a bus seat, or the like. But, it’s not any old sticker. It’s one with three simple words designed to brighten your day and remind you that everything... Read more »

6 reasons you should watch The Karate Kid movie remake with your children (even four years after its release)

I loved The Karate Kid. The original movie that is. I must have watched it a dozen times. It was like I couldn’t get enough of Daniel (Ralph Macchio), Mr. Miyagi (Pat Morita) and Ali (Elisabeth Shue). It was a movie of the early 80′s – and one few others have been able to replicate. And, then a remake came... Read more »

David Černý sculptures in Prague: Czech artist’s public artwork infuses the city with personality

My husband and I recently returned from a stay in Prague. After extending our layover in Munich, we arrived in our final destination as the sun went down. By the time we first ventured out into Prague, evening had fallen upon the bohemian city. Have you ever arrived in a city after dark? If so,... Read more »
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Japanese culture of kawaii: Even the signs are “cute” in Tokyo

This sidewalk sign helps show where the water supply is for use by emergency crews during the event of a fire - in a fun, light-hearted way.
Before my family ventured to Tokyo this past spring, I read up on kawaii – a word used to describe the quality of “cuteness” in almost all aspects of Japanese culture. As noted in a Associated Press story, Nobuyani Kurita, a sociology professor at Musashi Unversity in Tokyo, has said that the word “cute” is a “magic term” that encompasses everything that’s... Read more »

Street art from around the world: Paris, New York City, Berlin, Tokyo, London, Prague and Chicago

Here it is. The image that kick started my street art obsession. It's a work done by Fred le Chevalier. It greeted me every day as my family returned to our apartment in the Marais. It captivated me - and caused me to seek out more street art in Paris.
Like so many great love stories, I fell in love with street art – in Paris. My love affair with the increasingly popular and hip art form began in the Parisian neighborhood of the Marais to be exact. Just over two years ago. Walking through many of the 20 arrondisements that make up the snail-shaped... Read more »

Baladino: Sharing ancient sounds of Ladino music with people in Chicago and the Midwest

This weekend, my older son accomplished a major feat – he finished his homework for Tuesday a whole day early. What brought on this desire to complete it ahead of schedule? The opportunity to see Baladino, a Mediterranean folk band, last night right here in our hometown of Chicago. And, I was beyond thrilled for... Read more »
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It’s a small music world after all: Similar songs take top spots on Spotify's country-specific "top lists"

I’ve become one of those people whose music, books and movies all reside on my smartphone and tablet. I can’t help it. I enjoy having all of my cultural, artistic and creative outlets with me at all times - at home or on the road. For music, I tend to “swipe” on over to the Spotify app... Read more »